The first potential significant storm that may hit the West Coast this fall looked like it was ramping up activity Thursday.
Radar imagery shared by weather reporter Colin McCarthy showed what appears to be a potential bomb cyclone driving a strong atmospheric river from the Pacific Northwest to northern California. While the details on the forecast are likely to evolve in the coming days, widespread rainfall is reportedly expected across Oregon and Washington.
A potential for one to three-inches of rain could hit the region, causing urban and river flooding. McCarthy said this was great news heading into fire season and should hopefully quell some of the risk.
The Pacific Northwest and far Northern California could see their first significant storm of the year early next week as a potential bomb cyclone drives a strong atmospheric river into the region.
Details will change, but widespread rainfall of 1-3″ appears possible across… pic.twitter.com/cKE0zAc3Vm
— Colin McCarthy (@US_Stormwatch) September 20, 2023
Though temperatures are starting to cool across the Pacific Northwest, there are still 16 large fires spanning 123,000 acres throughout the region as of Wednesday, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. The fires are causing potentially hazardous air quality across the west coast, according to meteorologist Holt Hanley, who appears to disagree with McCarthy’s forecast. (RELATED: Oh Great, Now There Are 3 Areas Of Concern In The Atlantic)
“It looks like fire weather conditions will actually increase over the next two days, so air quality could get worse before it potentially clears out on Friday,” Hanley wrote on Twitter. So, let’s hope he’s wrong and this atmospheric river gives our firefighters a chance to relax.